University Grad Quotes

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...I'm worried I will leave grad school and no longer be able to speak English. I know this woman in grad school, a friend of a friend, and just listening to her talk is scary. The semiotic dialetics of intertextual modernity. Which makes no sense at all. Sometimes I feel that they live in a parallel universe of academia speaking acadamese instead of English and they don't really know what's happening in the real world.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
When I interviewed at Yale, the admissions committee asked me why they should let me into the program. I looked at them unblinking and said, 'Because I'm going to change the world some day. And I'm giving you the chance to say, We knew her when.
Sarah Thebarge
What makes America unique is not that it built MIT, or that its grads are generating economic growth and innovation, but that every state in the country has universities trying to do the same. “America has 4,000 colleges and universities,” said Allan E. Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education. “The rest of the world combined has 7,768 institutions of higher education.
Thomas L. Friedman (The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century)
Life is funny. I'd applied to the wrong graduate program, but that eventually led me to the right grad program. I'd taken what I thought was the wrong undergraduate major, and that was the thing that set me apart and allowed me to find my niche. I don't know if there are any lessons to take from that except to realize that the things you think are mistakes may turn out not to be mistakes. I realized wherever you are, if you make the most of what you've got, you can find a way to keep moving forward.
Mike Massimino (Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe)
A Belgian journalist, struggling to describe the scene, had said that it resembled a cross between a permanent mass wake, an ongoing grad night for at least a dozen subcultures unheard of before the disaster, the black market cafes of occupied Paris, and Goya's idea of a dance party (assuming Goya had been Japanese and smoked freebase methamphetamine, which along with endless quantities of alcohol was clearly the Western World's substance of choice). It was, the Belgian said, as though the city, in its convolsion and grief, had spontaneously and necessarily generated this hidden pocket universe of the soul, its few unbroken windows painted over with black rubber aquarium paint. There would be no view of the ruptured city. As the reconstruction began around it, it had already become a benchmark in Tokyo's psychic history, an open secret, an urban legend.
William Gibson (Idoru (Bridge, #2))
The universities are an absolute wreck right now, because for decades, any graduate student in the humanities who had independent thinking was driven out. There was no way to survive without memorizing all these stupid bromides with this referential bowing to these over-inflated figures like Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, and so on. Basically, it's been a tyranny in the humanities, because the professors who are now my age – who are the baby boomer professors, who made their careers on the back of Foucault and so on – are determined that that survive. So you have a kind of vampirism going on. So I've been getting letters for 25 years since Sexual Personae was released in 1990, from refugees from the graduate schools. It's been a terrible loss. One of my favorite letters was early on: a woman wrote to me, she was painting houses in St. Louis, she said that she had wanted a career as a literature professor and had gone into the graduate program in comparative literature at Berkeley. And finally, she was forced to drop out because, she said, every time she would express enthusiasm for a work they were studying in the seminar, everyone would look at her as if she had in some way created a terrible error of taste. I thought, 'Oh my God', see that's what's been going on – a pretentious style of superiority to the text. [When asked what can change this]: Rebellion! Rebellion by the grad students. This is what I'm trying to foment. We absolutely need someone to stand up and start criticizing authority figures. But no; this generation of young people have been trained throughout middle school and high school and college to be subservient to authority.
Camille Paglia
Jenny Marzen made millions of dollars, as opposed to nickels, by writing novels that got seriously reviewed while selling big. Amy had skimmed her first one, a mildly clever thing about a philosophy professor who discovers her husband is cheating on her with one of her grad students, and who, while feigning ignorance of the affair, drives the girl mad with increasingly brutal critiques and research tasks, at one point banishing her to Beirut, first to learn fluent Arabic and then to read Avicenna's Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb, housed in the American University. This was, Amy thought, a showoffy detail that hinted at Marzen's impressive erudition but was probably arrived at within five Googling minutes.
Jincy Willett (Amy Falls Down (Amy Gallup, #2))
The reason Dr. Caner’s flameout didn’t make a bigger dent in this school’s spiritual life, I think, is that Liberty students have much more pressing things to do than contemplate the existence of God. There are papers to write, grad school applications to complete, girls to ask out. Even if you were convinced by the Rational Response Squad, entertaining a crisis of faith would mean reevaluating every aspect of your life, from the friends you hang out with to the classes you take to, really, whether you should be at Liberty at all. In a faith system as rigorous and all-encompassing as this, severe doubt is paralyzing. Better just to keep believing, keep living life, and take up the big questions later, when not so much is at stake.
Kevin Roose (The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University)
I took it, though, as an evil omen that the deck wasn’t cutting in our favor, and then was certain of it when the notorious Iraqi exile and convicted swindler Ahmed Chalabi charged onto the stage. Frankly, Chalabi was the last thing I needed. A University of Chicago and MIT grad, Chalabi had been convicted in Jordan for bank embezzlement. Resurrected by the CIA after the Gulf War, he now owed his political existence to Washington. It was our F-16s that kept Saddam from grabbing and lynching him; it was the United States he ran to when things got ugly. By rights, Chalabi should have been America’s obedient proxy who slavishly followed my orders. Instead, he treated me as if I were the mad uncle in the attic. He would pretend to listen to me, but as soon as I was out the door, he’d revert to his old conniving self.
Robert B. Baer (The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins)
Only years later—as an investigative journalist writing about poor scientific research—did I realize that I had committed statistical malpractice in one section of the thesis that earned me a master’s degree from Columbia University. Like many a grad student, I had a big database and hit a computer button to run a common statistical analysis, never having been taught to think deeply (or at all) about how that statistical analysis even worked. The stat program spit out a number summarily deemed “statistically significant.” Unfortunately, it was almost certainly a false positive, because I did not understand the limitations of the statistical test in the context in which I applied it. Nor did the scientists who reviewed the work. As statistician Doug Altman put it, “Everyone is so busy doing research they don’t have time to stop and think about the way they’re doing it.” I rushed into extremely specialized scientific research without having learned scientific reasoning. (And then I was rewarded for it, with a master’s degree, which made for a very wicked learning environment.) As backward as it sounds, I only began to think broadly about how science should work years after I left it.
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
Generalized Social Anxiety In contrast to people with specific social anxieties, you may be afraid in a wide variety of situations. You might feel that people are judging everything you do and you might set unreasonable standards of perfection for yourself. This condition is called generalized (or discrete) social anxiety. Generalized social anxiety accounts for 80 percent of all cases of social anxiety. Often, people with generalized social anxiety get caught in a vicious cycle. Because they are overly anxious in many situations, they act in clumsy and awkward ways, which in turn makes them feel even more discouraged and anxious. This cycle often results in depression and chronic stress. Generalized social anxiety can affect almost every aspect of your life. This has been the case for Toni, a college senior. In high school, I hardly had any friends. I didn’t participate in any extracurricular activities and managed to get by with average grades. Because I attend a large state university, I am even more invisible. So far, I have avoided any class that has any interaction with my peers, such as discussion groups or labs. As graduation approaches, I need to decide what type of career I want. The thought of job interviews terrifies me. I am considering grad school but would need recommendations to apply. I haven’t even spoken to most of my professors, and the ones who know me probably can’t say anything good about me. As a result, I’m really depressed. When I imagine the future, I can’t see myself being happy. I’ll probably move back to my parents’ house after graduation. I know they are disappointed in me, and that makes me feel like a complete failure.
Heather Moehn (Social Anxiety (Coping With Series))
See especially academia, which has effectively become a hope labor industrial complex. Within that system, tenured professors—ostensibly proof positive that you can, indeed, think about your subject of choice for the rest of your life, complete with job security, if you just work hard enough—encourage their most motivated students to apply for grad school. The grad schools depend on money from full-pay students and/or cheap labor from those students, so they accept far more master’s students than there are spots in PhD programs, and far more PhD students than there are tenure-track positions. Through it all, grad students are told that work will, in essence, save them: If they publish more, if they go to more conferences to present their work, if they get a book contract before graduating, their chances on the job market will go up. For a very limited few, this proves true. But it is no guarantee—and with ever-diminished funding for public universities, many students take on the costs of conference travel themselves (often through student loans), scrambling to make ends meet over the summer while they apply for the already-scarce number of academic jobs available, many of them in remote locations, with little promise of long-term stability. Some academics exhaust their hope labor supply during grad school. For others, it takes years on the market, often while adjuncting for little pay in demeaning and demanding work conditions, before the dream starts to splinter. But the system itself is set up to feed itself as long as possible. Most humanities PhD programs still offer little or nothing in terms of training for jobs outside of academia, creating a sort of mandatory tunnel from grad school to tenure-track aspirant. In the humanities, especially, to obtain a PhD—to become a doctor in your field of knowledge—is to adopt the refrain “I don’t have any marketable skills.” Many academics have no choice but to keep teaching—the only thing they feel equipped to do—even without fair pay or job security. Academic institutions are incentivized to keep adjuncts “doing what they love”—but there’s additional pressure from peers and mentors who’ve become deeply invested in the continued viability of the institution. Many senior academics with little experience of the realities of the contemporary market explicitly and implicitly advise their students that the only good job is a tenure-track academic job. When I failed to get an academic job in 2011, I felt soft but unsubtle dismay from various professors upon telling them that I had chosen to take a high school teaching job to make ends meet. It
Anne Helen Petersen (Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation)
Robert Askins Brings ‘Hand to God’ to Broadway Chad Batka for The New York Times Robert Askins at the Booth Theater, where his play “Hand to God” opens on Tuesday. By MICHAEL PAULSON The conceit is zany: In a church basement, a group of adolescents gathers (mostly at the insistence of their parents) to make puppets that will spread the Christian message, but one of the puppets turns out to be more demonic than divine. The result — a dark comedy with the can-puppets-really-do-that raunchiness of “Avenue Q” and can-people-really-say-that outrageousness of “The Book of Mormon” — is “Hand to God,” a new play that is among the more improbable entrants in the packed competition for Broadway audiences over the next few weeks. Given the irreverence of some of the material — at one point stuffed animals are mutilated in ways that replicate the torments of Catholic martyrs — it is perhaps not a surprise to discover that the play’s author, Robert Askins, was nicknamed “Dirty Rob” as an undergraduate at Baylor, a Baptist-affiliated university where the sexual explicitness and violence of his early scripts raised eyebrows. But Mr. Askins had also been a lone male soloist in the children’s choir at St. John Lutheran of Cypress, Tex. — a child who discovered early that singing was a way to make the stern church ladies smile. His earliest performances were in a deeply religious world, and his writings since then have been a complex reaction to that upbringing. “It’s kind of frustrating in life to be like, ‘I’m a playwright,’ and watch people’s face fall, because they associate plays with phenomenally dull, didactic, poetic grad-schoolery, where everything takes too long and tediously explores the beauty in ourselves,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s not church, even though it feels like church a lot when we go these days.” The journey to Broadway, where “Hand to God” opens on Tuesday at the Booth Theater, still seems unlikely to Mr. Askins, 34, who works as a bartender in Brooklyn and says he can’t afford to see Broadway shows, despite his newfound prominence. He seems simultaneously enthralled by and contemptuous of contemporary theater, the world in which he has chosen to make his life; during a walk from the Cobble Hill coffee shop where he sometimes writes to the Park Slope restaurant where he tends bar, he quoted Nietzsche and Derrida, described himself as “deeply weird,” and swore like, well, a satanic sock-puppet. “If there were no laughs in the show, I’d think there was something wrong with him,” said the actor Steven Boyer, who won raves in earlier “Hand to God” productions as Jason, a grief-stricken adolescent with a meek demeanor and an angry-puppet pal. “But anybody who is able to write about such serious stuff and be as hilarious as it is, I’m not worried about their mental health.” Mr. Askins’s interest in the performing arts began when he was a boy attending rural Texas churches affiliated with the conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod denomination; he recalls the worshipers as “deeply conservative, old farm folks, stone-faced, pride and suffering, and the only time anybody ever really livened up was when the children’s choir would perform.” “My grandmother had a cross-stitch that said, ‘God respects me when I work, but he loves me when I sing,’ and so I got into that,” he said. “For somebody who enjoys performance, that was the way in.” The church also had a puppet ministry — an effort to teach children about the Bible by use of puppets — and when Mr. Askins’s mother, a nurse, began running the program, he enlisted to help. He would perform shows for other children at preschools and vacation Bible camps. “The shows are wacky, but it was fun,” he said. “They’re badly written attempts to bring children to Jesus.” Not all of his formative encounters with puppets were positive. Particularly scarring: D
Expecting someone?" I tease, as if Connor's not here just about every night she isn't at his grad dorm. "Not if I don't finish my homework," she says, picking the pen back up and tapping the course packet with it. "Even when he's not my teacher, Connor's a pain in my ass." "They make lube for that, you know." "Francesca?" "Yes?" "Get out.
Dahlia Adler (Out on Good Behavior (Radleigh University, #3))
I’m worried I will leave grad school and no longer be able to speak English. I know this woman in grad school, a friend of a friend, and just listening to her talk is scary. The semiotic dialectics of intertextual modernity. Which makes no sense at all. Sometimes I feel that they live in a parallel universe of academia speaking academese instead of English and they don’t really know what’s happening in the real world.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
First, lucky people notice and act on chance opportunities in their life, creating strong social networks and holding themselves open to new experiences: I was lucky; I went to a grad school that was very open to risk taking and very open to freedom. That was at McGill back in the 1960s. I think they almost had a culture of risk taking, and my supervisor used to tell me, “Just have a go. It doesn’t matter if they reject it.” (Michael Corballis, Psychology, University of Auckland) Second, they trust their intuition: I’m a big fan of following serendipitous encounters: you leave no stone unturned and follow all kinds of paths even if you don’t really expect much there. Some of them of course don’t pan out well, but occasionally, you really get rewarded. (Ann Blair, History, Harvard University) Third, they persevere in the face of criticism and rejection: When I first started getting published in medicine, I was accused of being fluffy, Mickey Mouse. All kinds of awful criticisms were made of my work and my writing—“This isn’t medical,” “You can’t publish this kind of thing as medical research.” The more I received that criticism, the more absolutely determined I became to overcome it. (Gillie Bolton, freelance writer in literature and medicine, United Kingdom) And fourth, they transform bad luck into good by seeing the positive side of unlucky events: I absolutely subscribe to the notion that any feedback is a blessing. I don’t actually care how negative the feedback is; I just keep thinking, “Gosh, this could only strengthen my paper for the next place I’m going to send it to.” (Shanthi Ameratunga, Population Health, University of Auckland)
Helen Sword (Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write)
The French theorist Pierre Bourdieu’s landmark work Distinction made the point that not all currency is conspicuous in the way, say, owning a McMansion or a yacht is now. Something he called “cultural capital” can be a form of currency. For example, attending a prestigious university or becoming a subscriber to the symphony can give you cultural capital, even if you do not possess actual capital—you’re a broke grad student, say, or you spent your last paycheck on concert tickets.
Véronique Hyland (Dress Code: Unlocking Fashion from the New Look to Millennial Pink)
The classification above is based on a 2011 presentation by MIT grad student David Hernandez for my cosmology class. Because such simplistic taxonomies are strictly impossible, they should be taken with a large grain of salt:
Max Tegmark (Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality)
Training need not be an all-or-nothing battle, involving punishing track practice, grueling calisthenics, and wrenching interval sessions every afternoon. It could be a fun and easy cruise through the gorgeous New England countryside. It could be an act of freedom by which I could step outside myself and my racing mind. A long run in nature could even be a way to connect my physical body with the unseen spirit of the universe.
Bill Rodgers (Marathon Man: My 26.2-Mile Journey from Unknown Grad Student to the Top of the Running World)
Yes, but I’m worried I will leave grad school and no longer be able to speak English. I know this woman in grad school, a friend of a friend, and just listening to her talk is scary. The semiotic dialectics of intertextual modernity. Which makes no sense at all. Sometimes I feel that they live in a parallel universe of academia speaking academese instead of English and they don’t really know what’s happening in the real world.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
Or maybe we could send you to grad school, where you’d learn something useful. I know a few people at the University of Chicago, if you want your economics degree. Expand your horizons a little.” “You’re throwing me to the Straussians?” I said, in horror.
Curtis Edmonds (Snowflake's Chance: The 2016 Campaign Diary of Justin T. Fairchild, Social Justice Warrior)
First, the conventional approach to discovering God’s will focuses almost all of our attention on nonmoral decisions. Scripture does not tell us whether we should live in Minnesota or Maine. It does not tell us whether we should go to Michigan State University or Wheaton College. It does not tell us whether we should buy a house or rent an apartment. It does not tell us whether we should marry a wonderful Christian named Tim or some other wonderful Christian guy. Scripture does not tell us what to do this summer or what job to take or where to go to grad school. Once, while preaching on this topic, I said in a bold declarative statement, “God doesn’t care where you go to school or where you live or what job you take.” A thoughtful young woman talked to me afterward and was discouraged to hear that God didn’t care about the most important decisions in her life. I explained to her that I probably wasn’t very clear. God certainly cares about these decisions insofar as He cares for us and every detail of our lives. But in another sense, and this was the point I was trying to make, these are not the most important issues in God’s book. The most important issues for God are moral purity, theological fidelity, compassion, joy, our witness, faithfulness, hospitality, love, worship, and faith. These are His big concerns. The problem is that we tend to focus most of our attention on everything else. We obsess over the things God has not mentioned and may never mention, while, by contrast, we spend little time on all the things God has already revealed to us in the Bible.
Kevin DeYoung (Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will)
Consider the $400 million donation that Nike founder Phil Knight made to Stanford University in early 2016. The money will be used to cover tuition and living expenses for just one hundred grad students a year at Stanford, which has one of the largest endowments in the United States, over $20 billion. The idea is to train the next generation of leaders who will go on to “address society’s most intractable problems, including poverty and climate change.” Of course, though, there are plenty of talented leaders who are already in the trenches working on these problems—and could sure use some help from the likes of Phil Knight. It’s hard to think of Stanford grad students, many of whom already get a tuition-free ride, as a needy bunch.
David Callahan (The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age)